LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i police arrested Chad Yazawa, 32, of Wailua, Henry Long, 58, of Kealia, and Ciara Silva, 30, of Kealia, on March 17 after locating illegal drugs at their business establishments.
The Kaua‘i Police Department Vice Section executed a search warrant around noon on Wednesday on the Garden Isle CBD Smoke Shop in Kapa‘a. The search resulted in the seizure of an excess of 2 pounds of marijuana, numerous amounts of vape cartridges labeled with over 80% THC, “medicated” edibles, several pounds of “green vegetable matter” that will be tested for THC, and $5,858 in cash.
Based on this search warrant, Long was arrested for commercial promotion of marijuana in the second degree. He was released after posting $5,000 bail.
Silva was arrested for commercial promotion in the second degree. She was released pending investigation.
KPD’s Vice Section simultaneously executed a second search warrant on the ‘Ohana Smoke Shop in Nawiliwili. The search resulted in the seizure of an excess of 2 pounds of marijuana, 61.2 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and numerous amounts of vape cartridges labeled with over 80% THC, THC edibles, and $15,972 in cash.
Based on this search warrant, Yazawa was arrested for commercial promotion of marijuana in the second degree and promoting a harmful drug in the third degree. He was released on $6,000 bail.
KPD’s efforts to mitigate the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes or “vapes” to Kaua‘i keiki is in alignment with the federal Food and Drug Administration’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan.
According to a 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarettes were the most-commonly-used tobacco product among U.S. middle- and high-school students, and the number of users continues to rise.
Federal law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18, and in 2016 Hawai‘i became the first state to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.
“E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are easily accessible to our Kaua‘i keiki,” said KPD Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce. “Some of the products that our youth are getting a hold of, which can also contain THC, are causing detrimental effects not only to the development of their brains, according to scientific studies, but are also having long-term detrimental effects on other aspects of their health. It is a priority of our department to help keep our keiki safe.”
In 2017, nearly 20% of U.S. high-school youth were reported to be using tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Moreover, these smoke shops were violating the law by selling products they weren’t authorized to sell, in comparison to other legally-operating, medical-marijuana dispensaries across the state,” said Ponce.
“But the main message that we want to get across to the public from this investigation is to please be careful of the products that your keiki may be using or possessing and illegally obtaining, and the negative impact they could be having to their health.”